Well, it turns out “they” were right. Since last fall, pundits in print and electronic media have been harping about an imminent snap election call, proving once again even broken clocks are right twice a day. Or something like that.
And so, following (during) COVID-19, following (during) the Summer of Fire, synced with the fourth wave, we have Election 2021: Liar, Liar Pants on Fire Redux to distract us.
The single most important thing you can remember as we slide into this vortex of fantasy is this: You can’t believe anything said by the leader of any political party for the next 33 days. It is an established, litigated fact they are free to sell us a handful of magic beans while on the campaign trail without so much as blushing. It’s another fact they will.
The second most important thing is this: All politics are local. Despite the level of hatred and disbelief you might have for any of the leaders, you only get to vote for one of the bozos in your riding.
Well yes, now that you mention it, the bozo you send to Ottawa will either have no power, likely being a back bencher if they’re a member of the party who forms government or a back-back bencher if they belong to a party not forming government or a miracle if they’re a member of the rapidly vanishing Green Party.
But elections are important. Voting is important. Belief in who you vote for is optional. So suspend your disbelief and enjoy the sideshow. If nothing else, it’s a welcome diversion from pandemic news.
We’ll be going to the polls—or mailing in our votes—because JT wants the only thing he doesn’t have. No, not credibility. No, not honesty. No, not a facile understanding of conflict of interest. We’re not striving for the impossible dream here, folks. A majority, silly. It’s the only thing he doesn’t have, not that it’s stopped him from taking over government and governing as though Parliament died during the pandemic’s first wave.
Once he has a majority he can bide his time, ultimately step down gracefully during his term, or as gracefully as possible for someone lacking grace, and enjoy his retirement skiing in Whistler while his successor tries to put the pieces of the country back together again. After all, you have to dive very, very deeply into the bowels of history to find a PM who survived three terms in office and roared back for another. And we all know how booooring history is.
JT’s trump card, likely strong enough to either retain a minority or slide into a majority so thin you can see through it, isn’t refuting that he’s a bozo, just that he’s the least bad bozo on the bus. Time and again, this has been the single most important factor in Canadian federal elections. We are so rarely given an outstanding choice we inevitably vote for the party we believe will do the least bad job.
I know what you’re thinking. How in the world can JT be the least bad bozo? Well, consider the others. To save time, we’ll start with the easiest bozos to toss off the bus.
Yves-François Blanchet, leader of the Bloc-heads, is a non-entity outside Quebec. Chances are as close to 100 per cent as possible you will not have an opportunity to vote Bloc unless you live in that province. The Bloc is a spoiler in a spoiler province and, as such, we can safely toss him off the bus, unless we have separatist relatives living in La Belle Province, in which case we could appeal to their better natures. Next.
I’m not entirely certain “Anomie” Paul—not a misspelling, just a more accurate one—even got on the bus. When last seen she was spending a lot of energy making a fringe party disappear altogether. Holding caucus in a telephone booth—you remember those?—Anomie hasn’t been heard from in the early days of campaigning. Or maybe she has. Keeping track of what she has to say has about the same urgency as remembering how much postage stamps cost. Next.
Jagmeet Singh, alias Jimmy Dhaliwal, leader of the New Democrats, is on a Quixotic crusade against his new favourite enemy: the Ultrarich. The ultrarich are the enemy of the people and Jagmeet Jimmy is out to get them, hoist them by the heels of their Guccis and shake some of the wealth out of them to pay for... Free Everything! Pharmacare? Done. Dental care? Done. Mental health? Who said you have to be crazy to believe him? Free tuition? Done. Da rich folks will pay for it all through a wealth tax.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d have to win a couple of lotteries to be in danger of paying a wealth tax but the history enjoyed by other countries who have instituted wealth taxes has been, well, less than wealthy. None have succeeded for very long. Either they found it impossible to accurately determine someone’s wealth or the wealthy disappeared like a fart on the wind to a country generally know as a tax shelter.
But as far as bozos go, we don’t have to worry much about JJ. Diamond Jack Layton was the last and only NDP leader who rose as far as leader of the opposition and JJ ain’t him. I predict a solid bronze medal and the continuing swing votes to prop up JT’s minority government. Just like this election didn’t happen. Oh, to be wistful.
Finally, glossy cover-boy O’Toole and his Cons have just released the first, and likely last, issue of their Save Canada magazine. O’Toole appears on the cover, all black t-shirt and blue jeans, looking like an aging rocker announcing his Back to the Future Walker-Powered Tour. Inside the 160-page platform, there are proposals that have real conservatives heading for the nearest intensive care ward. Gone is any claim to fiscal conservatism. The plan—absent details on exactly how it would be funded but you can bet your bottom $10 million it won’t be through a wealth tax—is encyclopaedic if fatuous. Interestingly though, it is chockablock with photos of more visible minorities than the Cons have ever had, in aggregate, in their caucuses since the beginning of time. If you didn’t know better you’d think they finally bought a big tent... until you delve into the details.
But like I said, all politics are local. And in Sea to Sky country we have a choice between the devil we know, the devil we voted out of office once before and a new devil.
Really, it could only have been better if JT had waited a month and we could vote on Halloween.